Oliver Michalakis - Operations management

Oliver Michalakis

Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds
Operations Management

So far I've just completed one attachment in the business. This was as a Materials Resource Planning Controller, managing an external supplier. This meant I was responsible for ensuring the on-time delivery and scheduling of parts bought in from that supplier. The parts I was managing went onto engines all across the aerospace sector, and my key internal customers were the build lines in Derby, Bristol and Dahlewitz (Germany) who assemble engines such as the Trent1000 (B787 Dreamliner) and EJ200 (Eurofighter Typhoon).

During my first placement managing an external supplier, our engineering team found something in the specification they weren't happy with, which led to a safety alert being raised and having to recall all of the affected parts. Although nothing had made it out into service, the parts were required for engines currently on the production line and having to replace around 150 defective ones that take almost a week to produce was no easy task for the supplier. Needless to say it was an exciting (and slightly stressful!) time - the fact that I was able to be involved in this after only a few months in the company surprised me; I don't think I would get that experience so early on in other places.

I love the fact that even as a graduate new to the business, I've been given real responsibilities right from the beginning - I've never felt like I've been held back or given something unimportant to get on with. It's amazing when you think about what our products do and how much trust people place in them, so to be playing a small part in that is really rewarding. The people you work with make a big difference and so far I've found everyone to be really welcoming and always having time to answer your questions - which you tend to have a lot of as a graduate!

The great thing about Rolls-Royce is they really care about your development and put a lot of time and investment into training you. I had a month long induction at the start of the graduate programme where we learned all about the company and how it operates. I also got sent to Norway for two weeks to do Green Belt (Lean Sigma) training - so you can see they really do invest in your future.